Pressgang Theatre is remounting Life Records, a one-woman-show by Rhiannon Archer from the 2015 Fringe Festival. Archer uses songs that are entwined with personal memories to explore her life experiences. The show is both comedic and confessional, with a mix of lighthearted and horrifying stories.
We asked writer and performer Rhiannon Archer a few questions about the show.
This part comedy, part confessional, one-woman-show draws on stories from your own life. Did you choose themes, or life phases to focus on? If so, which ones and why?
I choose the themes and stories by the song used in them. I thought about what stories had a strong musical connection, and brought out the most vivid memory when hearing it. I did it that way because that’s what the show is about. The stories are all over the place but the music ties them all together.
Did you embellish the truth in the storytelling process?
Yes and no. I embellished with voices and tones of other people involved in the stories. I may take a more negative tone but its how I interpreted and remembered. Also some details might be skewed because I am very young in some of the stories, but for the most part all the stories are true.
You are a comedian and a mom. Being a mom is not always funny. What is your process for finding the humour in the trials and tribulations of motherhood?
Honesty. Honesty is the best source because most people can relate and enjoy when someone is being really honest and vulnerable. I am also an empowered mother. I call bullshit on a lot of things where perhaps your average mom would go along with because of fear or confusion. I make fun of a lot of fads. I do not claim to know everything, but I know when something sounds stupid. I try to empower other mothers as well because in the end, every mom knows what’s best for their kid…. except antivaxxers.
Who would most identify with or relate to the show?
Everyone because every person can have an emotional attachment with songs. Music is everywhere and affects everyone differently. The great part about this show is the songs are the same but the experiences shared by everyone are not. A lot of people tell me about the conversations and sharing of personal stories after the show around a certain song, like one person had it as their wedding song, as another got dumped to it.
You use songs that have significance for you as part of the storytelling. Who are your musical influences, and what type of music can we expect to hear in the show?
My influences are all over the place and so are the songs in the show. I even hate two of the songs in the show but they have such a strong story attached to them. Even songs you hate can have a good story attached to them.